The Benefits of Natural Paints and Finishes for Your Home

The Benefits of Natural Paints and Finishes for Your Home

A toxic home results from a combination of synthetic paints, toxic emissions from furniture and carpets and poor air quality. The effect of these toxic elements leads to higher incidents of sickness, allergies, headaches and lung disorders.With the current mainstream use of synthetic petrochemical paint coverings, studies have shown that indoor environments tend to be up to ten times more polluted than external environments. And yet, we spend on average 80% of our time inside buildings! To reduce the risk of fostering a toxic environment in your home, consider the benefits of natural paints and finishes.

The main ingredient in most natural paints is linseed oil. The oil is a natural derivative from linseed and is then blended together with other natural oils, resins and pigments. Linseed oil is a long lasting alternative to plastic binders used in synthetic paints. Surprisingly this is all based on an ancient recipe! Yes, linseed was used in paint making for centuries. What has changed is that there is now a highly developed, modern natural paint industry that ensures excellent painting properties from natural paints.

The main point to consider is that natural paints contain far less chemical substances than synthetic paints. They do not contribute to a toxic environment in your home as synthetic paints do. But there are other aspects of natural paint that are impressive.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Natural paints tend to be superior in terms of reduced paint flaking. One of the main causes of paint flaking is blistering caused by expanding moisture trapped beneath a paint’s skin. Microporous natural paints are waterproof, but continue to allow moisture to pass through them. They breathe with the walls much better than synthetic paints.

Natural paints unlike synthetic paints do not use plastic binders. Plastic based binders, when statically charged, attract dust to their surface. Natural paints do not attract dust in such a way and so help reduce dust levels in your home.

Although natural based paints require longer drying times than most synthetic paints there is good reason for it, and good result. Linseed oil based paints do not fully harden for years with the advantage of greater flexibility. The paint will expand and contract with atmospheric changes, reducing the risk of cracking. Also with the excellent leveling properties of linseed oil, the result will be a smooth enamel, free from brush marks. Well worth the wait!

The oils and resins used in natural paints are the same oils that trees and plants use to nourish and protect themselves. They penetrate deep within the timber fibers giving long lasting, deep protection.

Also, natural paints and finishes are biodegradable and the manufacturing process involves minimal energy, waste and pollution.

Different brands of natural paints will differ in terms of the specific ingredients and those ingredient’s particular properties and benefits. If you have particular allergy sufferers in your home be sure to cross reference with the paint’s ingredients. In most cases you will find the natural ingredients in natural paint to be a great alternative to the synthetic solvents and chemicals in other paints.

The Author:

Written by award-winning REALTORĀ®, Eric Badgley, specializing in Bellingham WA real estate. If you’re looking for Bellingham downtown real estate, visit Eric at

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